By now most major brands have realized that they need to get involved in social media, even if it’s only in a small way. A year ago, only a handful of companies were willing to put their reputation on the line and experiment with establishing a social media presence. One of these leaders was Starbucks, one of America’s favorite coffee chains.
As early as 2006, Starbucks was developing ways for consumers to interact directly with its brand online and extending the experience beyond its thousands of retail locations. In this astoundingly early year, the company signed up for its first official Twitter account, which now boasts more than 887,000 followers. In an effort to take its social media activities even further, in 2008 it developed My Starbucks Idea, which ReadWriteWeb described as “a socially driven marketplace for Starbucks-related ideas that will help the company reinvent itself”. On MSI, which also has its own Twitter account, consumers can literally share their ideas for improvement with the company, giving them a virtually unprecedented say in the direction of the brand. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to go on my very first business trip on behalf of my client. I was excited for all of the expected reasons- going to a part of the country I hadn’t been to before, getting a few days to work outside of the office (can you really blame me when summer is just around the corner?), etc. However, the trip also ended up being an incredible learning experience because it introduced me to a side of public relations that I really hadn’t experienced before, and it did a great job of expanding my personal definition of the field. Continue reading →
As I spend more and more time gaining experience in the PR industry, and as I continue to befriend other flacks and get to know them professionally, I’ve managed to catch a “glimpse” so-to-speak into a wide variety of PR agencies. Large, small, public, private, corporate, and consumer, it’s astounding how different every firm is.
Unfortunately, as much as I get to know about all of the things that my acquaintances love about their companies, I also tend to see the negative side as I cross into the “confidante” territory. One unsettling trend that I’ve started to see more often is agencies who don’t value their employees and treat them as replaceable hit machines who are expected to treat their job as their entire lives. This is by no means the standard of the industry, but it’s something I see more than should ever be the case. Continue reading →
It’s no secret PR professionals have an unhealthy relationship with Twitter. Despite the existence of countless other social networking platforms, including Facebook (which actually has much higher numbers than Twitter), people working in PR seem to naturally gravitate towards the micro-blogging service more than anything else. We give out our Twitter handles at networking events and print them on our business cards, which is especially interesting considering LinkedIn is probably the most professional social media platform out there. However, professionalism doesn’t have everything to do with it- Twitter is as much for creating friendships as it is for forming business relationships. So why are all of us flacks such hopeless (and I mean hopeless) Twitter fiends? Continue reading →
It’s no big secret that I am a bigger Dunkin’ Donuts fan than most. This weekend, in the wake of New Jersey’s monster hurricane, I traveled to three different Dunkin’s just to get hash browns and an iced coffee, and then I went to a fourth one later that night. Today I somehow found myself in a Starbucks and asked for a medium iced coffee three times before I realized I was supposed to say Grande. Dunkin’ is sort of always on my brain.
And I’m definitely not the only one. Last month, Dunkin’ Donuts was named number one in customer loyalty (in the coffee category) for the fourth straight year, which shows just how many people in the United States have made stopping at the infamous chain part of their daily routine. Of course the question that a study like this raises is, what is it that Dunkin’ Donuts does that inspires such utter devotion among their consumers? Continue reading →
The concept of public figures getting caught up in racist scandals isn’t exactly brand new – many a good reputation has been permanently tarnished thanks to misspoken words and overheard conversations. Even though their careers are getting back on track, people won’t be forgetting the ignorant words of Don Imus or Mel Gibson anytime soon and their brands now have entirely different connotations. However, the entertainment world was still rocked a few weeks ago when John Mayer’s offensive and way-too-honest interview with Playboy Magazine was released. Continue reading →
Since the majority of us PR professionals work for agencies where we have a variety of different companies as clients (maybe I’m just imagining this, but that’s definitely the way it seems), there’s a sector of communicators that we all tend to forget about- the straight up publicist. More specially, celebrity representation. However, somewhere off in the great, big state of California (pardon me for my generalization), there lives a whole lot of people who work incredibly hard to keep the reputations of their clients squeaky clean, or at least a little bit less awful than they already are. Continue reading →
As someone who’s been using Foursquare since it was in its ghetto/doesn’t always function/impossible for you to add a new location phase, I’ve found it very entertaining to watch this platform grow. As it becomes increasingly accessible, more and more people have started to use it (especially since the Blackberry app came onto the scene!).
For me, the defining moment of when Foursquare had become “acceptable” was when my boyfriend started to use it after months of making fun of me for insisting on telling the world where I was. I never thought that moment would come! Besides its growing popularity, I’ve also noticed an increase in discussions surrounding its purpose and the proper way to use it. In fact, TJ wrote a post about her foray into Foursquare just last week. This is to be expected for any new medium, just as we saw with Twitter before. Continue reading →
By now we, as PR professionals, understand the dangers of social media when it comes to speaking your mind in the blogosphere, Twitterverse, or any other strange word that someone has coined to describe an online space. We know that talking smack about your boss on Facebook can get you fired and that it might be a wise idea to make your profile private if you plan on posting a lot of pictures of you drinking yourself into oblivion. Armed with this knowledge, an overwhelming amount of professionals are finding SOME way to make their mark in the social media world, even if it’s just so that something positive shows up when their name is Googled. Continue reading →
As I get ready to leave the job that I’m currently at and embark on a new and incredibly exciting opportunity, I’ve decided to do a little bit of reflection at the suggestion of David, one of my social media mentors. When I took a position as an “intern” at the small NJ agency that I worked at during my senior year of college, I had no idea how much I would learn. Since it was my responsibility to teach the rest of the company about it, I had no choice but to throw myself head-first into the world of social media. Continue reading →